Miller, Carolyn R. (2009). Aristotle’s «special topics» in rhetorical practice and pedagogy. Rhetoric Society Quarterly 17:1, 61-70

Aristotle’s «Special Topics» in Rhetorical Practice and Pedagogy

One feature of classical rhetoric that is enjoying a revival is the concept of the topic, or topos. This revival has led many rhetoricians to re-examine Aristotle’s discussion of topics and to study their subsequent treatment in rhetorical history. One question that even a cursory review of the history of topical theory raises is why the career of what Aristotle called the «special» or «particular» topics is such a blank. Addressing this question raises many others, such as what are special topics, exactly? what makes them special? how special is «special»? special to what? While I can’t answer all these questions here, I hope to provide a perspective on them in pursuing the focal question of this essay: what is the significance of the bleak history of the special topics? The answer I will propose has…

Aristotle’s special topics in pedagogy Carolyn Miller